“Come on. Have another,” I encouraged my house guest. It was as if someone had turned the clock back, and we were pledges in a fraternity.
It was a year and a half after my family and I had moved into our new home. The transition from city to suburban living was challenging. My wife and I missed life in New York City. Though my wife and I were rarely able to enjoy the happenings around the city as we were too busy looking after our young children, we missed the business, the culture, and the nightlife. But we needed a yard, a garage and good schools, so the suburbs were where my young family and I belonged.
I thought meeting people in the suburbs would be easy. You have a 5-year-old? Well, I also have a 5-year-old. Let’s have a barbeque in the backyard.
No, it wasn’t quite that simple.
This luncheon and this family was different. My wife and I genuinely enjoyed their company and they clearly felt the same. We laughed at the same jokes.
“Oh sure, what the heck. I’ll have another,” said the wife. By this point, it was adults only at the table. Our two boys, who were ages 5 and 2, at the time had headed down to the playroom ages ago – the greatest thing the suburbs had to offer in my humble opinion. Our guests’ four children were also scattered about.
With everyone’s shot glasses full, we were ready to toast.
I raised my glass and said, “To good company and…” There was a knock at the door.
“Who could that be?” my wife said as she went to answer. Our toast would have to wait.
I only heard were snippets of the conversation. “He what …Oh my … thank you. No, we were just sitting around. You want to come in?”
“Who is it?” I bellowed.
“It’s our son.” (The 2-year-old.)
In walks our neighbor.
Completely baffled, I said, “What are you talking about? He was in the playroom.”
“Well, apparently he got out, and walked down the street. Who knows where he was headed? My husband looked out the window and said, ‘Hey isn’t that the Bernstein boy.’ Anyway, here he is.”
My wife and I glanced at each other, feeling a mixture of shock, gratitude, and embarrassment. We managed to say thank you in between shakes of the head and mutterings.
How must it look to others? Here we are sitting around and having drinks on a Saturday afternoon while our two-year old is wandering the streets.
Ok, so we were out of the running for parents of the year. And hopefully not on the short list for child services.
Then we all laughed and shared stories about times we lost our children. By the way, we did have that drink.
Maybe we did belong in the suburbs.
Dropcam has asked me to share a missed moment as part of a contest they are featuring on their site. If you want to participate in the contest, check out the instructions here on Dropcam’s site.
oh! my this is so scary
I can imagine you and wife at the moment not knowing what to say
I’m glad he was okay, oh! so scary what kids do
& so glad you have a good neighbor that knew your kid 🙂
To be honest, we never got to the scary place. We were more embarrassed and a bit ashamed.
Let all our bad parenting moments be unintentional. And may they all end with a helpful neighbor, and a shy smile.
Amen to that!!
If this works now, Larry, I’ll be happy… I have been reading and trying to comment and like – and nothing worked for months.
I think your blog is just so interesting – and sometimes cute – and I hardly couldn’t agree because it wouldn’t take my comment…
Let’s hope for the best.
It works! Welcome back.
I know about the like issue and told the I.T. guy. I don’t know why you would have problems with the comments. It seems it just happens every once in a while.
Wow… You are describing the whole situation so vivid, it is like we feel we are there! When our son was two he got lost in an elevator… fortunately in the building we lived in at the time… a neighbor picked him up just outside, and we met them as we came running out to look for him. Thank God for good neighbors!!
I’ll second that. We are lucky to have some good nieghbors.
I’m glad your story also turned out okay.
Too funny! I’m glad that he wasn’t harmed!
Well at least it turned out okay! There’s a reason kids give their parents gray hair!
You aint kidding!!
Thanks for sharing. I think it’s important to get this parenting missteps out there. We learn from our own mistakes and we learn from the mistakes of others (hopefully). Not for long periods of time, but I’ve certainly lost track of one my kids at a store or wherever. My heart stops until I spot them behind whatever the hell it happens to be. That’s when I need that drink!
Well, I skipped the worry part and just had the drink. Didn’t even know the kid was gone. Not good, but I guess these sort of things happen.
So you were sitting at the table, drinking, and your two year old wandered down the street. That is hilarious, and also very comforting. Because you could be doing ANYTHING and those short people could escape–going to the bathroom, sleeping on the couch, anything!
Glad you liked it.
And yeah you understand correctly.
Glad your still talking to me.
The idea of that happening is terrifying and filled with so many “what ifs.”
Glad it ended well and with a nice drink 🙂
So am I!!!!!
Alexi is notorious for disappearing. When he was little if we didn’t keep a hand on him at the store at all time he would be gone in the blink of an eye. Glad your little guy was returned home safely.
What did you do to that kid that he always wanted to leave? Ha ha. I have a nephew on my side that always seemed to be going in the opposite direction also.